NO matter what, nothing beats a dish made by the light of our lives—our mothers. Because in it, comes the good stuff and the unconditional love you can taste and feel with every mouthful. Mothers have their specialty dishes and children have their favorites that remind them of their moms. To celebrate Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up some people to share their favorite dishes cooked by Mommy dearest. Happy Mother’s Day!
“When I was 16, I knew I was already going into the military and was going to be on my own for a while. I learned to cook as many things as I could from my mom, but especially our staple Filipino dishes. Sinigang (sour, savory pork soup) was and will always be my favorite. When we cook it together, it tastes amazing. She wants to add the healthier veggies like tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes and green beans, while I like to balance it out with some fatty pork. I don’t use pork belly, I use the big fatty slabs from bone-in pork ribs, especially because the pigs in the States are huge compared to here. What I loved about sinigang the most, was that every time we had a potluck event with the Marines or other military branches, I would bring some sinigang and rice—and everyone loved it. I can’t remember any complaints and that felt good, knowing all other races tried a dish from your country of birth (my favorite dish taught to me by my mom), and enjoyed it. It was a euphoric feeling of acceptance from other Americans. My mom’s sinigang is my favorite dish and my favorite thing to cook with her!” - Neil Soque, Consultant
“I’ve always enjoyed my mom’s spaghetti. It was prepared and served separately. Her spaghetti meat sauce was made from all beef and it was thick. The noodles were al dente. Then there’s a bowl of cheese and slices of toasted bread smothered with garlic butter. This simple dish is always nostalgic every time I smell it.” - Sarrita Pimentel, Chef and Restaurateur
“My mom is a fabulous cook. Her roots of cooking started when she was a little girl in Iloilo City having a half-Spanish lady for a mother. My grandmother, who is also a very good cook, taught my mom Spanish-Filipino dishes where spices, the style of cooking and their love for food presentation completes their culinary journey. My favorite of mom’s dishes is the pork adobo-Ilonggo style (pork simmered in vinegar, garlic, onion and lots of spices). The best adobo is to cook the pork naturally until the oil comes out. Once this happens, fry it until it gets soft and brown. This is best paired with garlic rice or steamed rice. Mom’s dinuguan (pork blood stew) is also another special dish where she focuses in cooking it using lean pork, a bit of chicharon and slow cooked in vinegar with lots of spices especially chili peppers. This is best eaten with steamed rice or puto (rice cakes).” - Gwen L. Dela Cruz, General Manager
“I miss her food since the time we asked her—for her safety and for her to enjoy her autumn years—to hang up the ladle in 2016. But I guess the one that stood out as my favorite dish is her inun-unan (fish cooked in vinegar). My mom loves to cook simple food but prepares them exquisitely. She is one of the pioneer carenderia owners in the A.S. Fortuna area even before it was called as such. The fish in her inun-unan is always fresh, “bouncy,” and skimps on the sauce; it makes you want for more on your rice. It has the perfect blend of tart, salt and umami that I could not replicate no matter how hard I tried. Hint: It has no ginger in it. Because it endures, it is staple in our kitchen that whenever I go home peckish, I will definitely have a handy mother’s fix. Inun-unan is my mother’s emblem of being the constant good in my life; the handy humble fix whenever I am in privation of being and spirit. Thank you, Mama Deling. Happy Mother’s Day!” - Ethelbert Ouano, Lawyer / Professor
“My mama’s version of humba is my absolute favorite. This is a dish that marks every celebration at home. Sometimes, even when there’s no occasion that calls for it, Mama would whip this up just to satisfy my cravings. It’s not merely about the spices that makes this slow cooked stew an instant hit to my taste buds, but it’s about Mama’s best secret ingredient in everything she creates—her thoughtfulness and love.” - Allan Normor, Human Resources Manager